Lini

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RPG Superstar 8 Season Marathon Voter, 9 Season Marathon Voter. *** Pathfinder Society GM. 19 posts (20 including aliases). 215 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 19 Organized Play characters.



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Short and effective, just like a kobold

4/5

One of the most fun creatures to portray as a GM are kobolds and having players deal with them in roughly the timespan of an hour, is a great way to pass time. The more emphasis you put on the wacky side of kobolds, the more hilarious it can be.

It's pretty straightforward and easy to prepare. Do, however, realise that the kobold chieftain packs a more than serious punch on the low tier. His little friends can be painful too, but they will likely fall quickly.

It's fun and nothing really special, but it can be really enjoyable regardless.


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Great story, but can be frustrating at the end

4/5

I find myself looking at the more recent reviews and I honestly disagree on certain aspects. One thing I actually feel the same about, is the story itself. It’s great and maintains a sense of mystery for a long portion of the scenario while slowly building up. The plot isn’t instantly spoiled and the various parts feel distinct, yet all manage to tie in together. What’s better is that at least two of the three ‘early’ parts can also be hilarious in a good way.

While others disliked some of the mechanics, I do not feel the same way. The use of cards was appropriate and makes the scenario more mysterious. I also liked the fact that the end of the scenario is, in more than one way, in the hands of the players. There are different ways the final fight can go, though I admit one is more annoying than the others. The ‘environment’ can be difficult too, but to say that it’s impossible on the low tier is not true. We didn’t struggle that much to clear a path. Even with average rolls, we could have gotten there in time.

I do feel like the writer could have been a bit more generous with the DC for that particular mechanic, but it’s not that big a deal. I think I can also say to aboyd that his experiences seem tied to the GM’s decision-making and not to the scenario itself. I can’t speak for others, but I allow creative ideas as a GM and make sure it has some sort of impact (either clearing the path itself or lowering the DC). Then again, that’s just me.

I also noticed a complaint about the time it takes to complete this scenario. I’d like to remind that person in a friendly manner that PFS scenarios typically take 4 to 5 hours (it even says so in the guide). A scenario doesn’t have to ‘fit’ in that four hour slot. That said, I will agree that in order to get the most out of this scenario, role-playing should be encouraged. It is indeed better to place it in a longer slot, so if you only have four hours available you should probably skip this.

Long story short: I don’t agree with some of the reviews, but I can see where they’re coming from. Some mechanics can be annoying, especially if you’re not allowed to deviate from it by the GM. One of the two final fights can indeed be very frustrating, though the idea is thematically good. It’s a scenario that’s best run in a long timeslot and rewards role-playing. If you’re just looking for multiple fights in a row, you should stay clear. Otherwise you should give this a try.


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Excellent scenery and flavor, but fairly easy encounters

4/5

When I volunteered to GM this scenario, I of course read the reviews. I was surprised by the overall low ratings. A bit worried, I proceeded to read the scenario and now that I’ve run the scenario for a low tier table of 6 players, I honestly disagree with the low ratings to some extent.

I have to agree with those below when it comes to the combats. They are a bit on the weak side. So if you’re looking for challenging encounters only, this scenario is not for you. The fights are a walk in the park at times and even though the BBEG has a DR, you get plenty of tools to deal with it. In theory it could be challenging, but sadly this is not the case.

But what the scenario lacks in sheer combat challenge, it makes up for in flavour. This isn’t just a typical ‘you walk through a forest and here you have an encounter’ kind of deal. No, the environment actually gets placed in the spotlight. The scenery is neatly woven into the scenario in multiple ways. There are natural hazards of various kinds, but also new and unique modes of transportation. There’s even a nice page of text detailing what a city/village looks like and how the people there act and live. In other words: it does an amazing job at setting a scene and making the place come alive. It creates immersion.

Compared to other scenarios the combat is underwhelming, but in terms of flavour and descriptions this scenario is a gem. It can be used as a shining example of really introducing (new) places and cultures, as well as making them feel different from others. From a roleplaying perspective, that’s something I value a lot and rate highly.

If you’re looking for tough fights, stay away. If you like visiting detailed and unique locations, be sure to give this a go. The boons are worth it. I do not think a rating of 3 does the scenario justice, and a 4 is maybe a bit too high, but there’s enough potential to make it a memorable scenario if you take the time to really explore the location itself and interact with the Ekujae culture.


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Good, but potentially punishing role-playing opportunity

3/5

I had the pleasure of playing this scenario two weeks ago on the low tier with my socialite and control mesmerist. For reasons that are going to be mentioned below, I had a pleasant time.

This scenario is basically divided into two sections. The first is in my opinion the highlight of the scenario. You are forced to undergo a bunch of social encounters with some well-known and lesser-known individuals you may or may not have come to love over the last few years. It’s a nice sandbox for you to show off your social prowess. My mesmerist focuses on excelling in that situation, so I was lucky. But even the non-social characters had a great time as they all had nice opportunities to pursue their faction missions.

The feast was great and I enjoyed the interrogation part. It was nice that you could give your character's opinion on various topics. That is a great way to showcase the personality of your character. However, your secondary prestige point depends on the answers you give. Long story short: you're supposed to give social desirable answers. This means you can be punished for actually role-playing your character. While I can understand the reasoning behind it, I consider it a major flaw of the scenario.

The second portion of the scenario focuses on puzzles and a fight. The puzzles were fun, but at times a bit awkward. I enjoyed the 'air' one, but the 'fire' one was a tad unclear on what to do. There are no real hints as to how to solve it. The easiest solution was to just take the damage and be done with it. It felt a bit underdeveloped, but was still enjoyable.

The final fight can be pretty scary, I guess. The creatures pack quite a punch and got powerful abilities. For my party, it was a walk in the park. In the first round my mesmerist made sure one of our opponents would do do nothing for about 7 rounds straight, and she could have easily done the same to the other one. While I like shutting opponents down, I felt like this was a bit too easy for a mesmerist. I took pity on my GM and used less powerful spells just to give him a chance of actually doing something and making it a fight worthy of being the end of the scenario. With a few minor tweaks (say a higher will save) I think the encounter might be a bit more challenging, but still fair.

To conclude: it was a fun scenario with diverse activities. Despite certain problems and a final rating of 3 stars, I would still recommend it to others.


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Rock-solid

4/5

A few weeks back I played this scenario on the high tier with a four-man-plus-eidolon-strong party. Coincidentally, the eidolon was our only frontliner as we had a sorcerer, summoner, ranged fighter and a bard.

I have to admit that I rather enjoyed the setting of scenario, as well as the NPCs. It all came neatly together and created an evocative environment for us to wander around in. As I’m writing this I’m trying to decide what part I liked most: a certain NPC and his, let’s call them, wishes, or a library of sorts. I honestly can’t decide as I really enjoyed both.

The encounters were rough at times. The combination of unusual tactics, unusual foes and unusual skills made every fight challenging, but fun. I do however have to point out that the bard had a significant impact on the final encounter. Countersong is situational, but highly effective. As such I can’t really comment on what is actually likely to happen near the end of the scenario, as we somewhat cheesed our way through it in a legitimate way.

I can only name one downside: one of the encounters is scripted to be a fight. Were it not for the fact they’re not evil and just doing their job, I’d have been okay with that. As it stands now, you have no other way of dealing with them. There is no diplomatic option, even though that would have made a lot of sense. I personally really dislike that approach and I’m a tad disappointed. I just can’t ignore it and as such have to reduce my final rating by one star.

Despite that issue, I consider a must-play scenario and I would recommend it. The story, the location, (the majority of) the encounters and chronicle sheet are all worth it.


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Not the worst part of the trilogy, but also not the best

3/5

Just like Quentin, I played this scenario under Magabeus and I agree with him completely on every single aspect. The combats are funky and at times frustrating. It was a case of ‘we know we’ll win, but it’ll take time’ at times. Needless to say I’m not particularly keen on having to skip my turn over and over again since it was pointless to do anything else. You know it’s frustrating when your best option as a caster is to ready a grapple.

During the final fight I felt like I had nothing better to do than just look at the scenery and ignore the fight altogether. The sad thing is I could get away with it without it having any consequences for the rest of the party. I believe only half our party participated in that fight, which I think says enough. Like Quentin said: if you have the right party setup, it’s fine, otherwise you’re screwed. A TPK can happen here, but we were lucky I guess en could even mess around a bit.

That’s not to say the scenario was bad. It wasn’t . The location was good and the encounters were thematic and diverse. I personally feel like an encounter that took place after a certain descend was the real big bad evil of this scenario, both thematically and statwise. It’s a shame she just doesn’t hit that hard. That said she is quite nasty, and in my honest opinion the highlight of the session.

Looking back upon this trilogy, I find myself a little confused. Each part is a decent scenario, but I miss an overarching and prominent storyline. As it stands now it feels like three different scenarios were tossed together and were labelled part 1, 2 and 3. It’s not a single story that gets a conclusion. I honestly miss an actual ending, something which is a bit of a shame.

All-in-all it’s a weird ending to a trilogy. It wasn’t necessarily a bad scenario, but it just is lacking in certain departments. Out of the three parts, I’d rate it lower than part 2, but higher than part 1. As such, three stars will be my final verdict.


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A solid second installment

4/5

Again I found myself sitting at Magabeus’ table (see the review below). I’m also the player who brought a character with Eerie Sense. I love that feat and thanks to Magabeus, it really made the place come alive and keep us in constant suspense as to what would happen next. I myself ended up being utterly paranoid.

That said, I really enjoyed this scenario. Compared to the first part, this one has aged fairly well. The combat encounters are still a bit on the easy side of the spectrum, but the puzzles and layout were still okay. Mind you, I can see why a few TPK’s have happened here in the past, but I think that the average party will have a way of dealing with the BBEG.

All I can add is that part 2 is better than the first part. I hope this trend continues with the next (and final) part, but I’ll find that out later today. I would recommend the scenario if you’re looking for a creepy dungeon crawl with some puzzles. If you’re purely looking for challenging fights, I’d recommend looking for a different scenario.


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Starts promising, but ends poorly

2/5

As one of the players at Magabeus’ table (read the review below) I echo his sentiments. The first part was amazing. It was easily the highlight of the session. From a mechanical perspective it is simple in design, yet rather effective. Not only that, but it also did a great job at setting the mood. The fact that our actions ended up making the whole ordeal hilarious, was a nice extra bonus.

Sadly the rest of the scenario didn’t age as well as the first part did. Like mentioned below, long five-foot-wide corridors don’t exactly make for riveting combat. Put the tankiest person in front and just shoot from a distance or just wait until combat is over. It’s not a lot of fun, even though the encounters are unique and require different tactics.

The biggest downside, to me, was the final encounter. I can understand it is the final encounter, but it didn’t feel like a proper end. I know this is only the first part of a series, but it still made me wonder if this really was it, or if we had missed something. The end sadly didn’t leave me satisfied. Still, it was enjoyable enough to make me want to see the other two parts.


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Unnecessarily complex

2/5

I have been in the fortunate position of having both GM’ed and played this special. I comment from both perspectives.

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From a player’s point of view I have to say that overall I enjoyed it. The fact you can choose your own path is always appreciated. Having the three paths differ from one another is also good. However, it’s a bit unfortunate that you as a player don’t really get to know what challenges each path holds, except for ‘Earth’ that is. In order to really enjoy a special, you want to do the path that is closest to your preferences, but I as a player had no clue as to how ‘Water’ was going to be different from ‘Fire’. While they do differ, I think that choosing between two paths (as was the case in Legacy of the Stonelords) is vastly superior to this setup.

An issue I had was that you also don’t really get the entire story as a player, which is a huge shame. While you’ll get a conclusion that sums it all up, you’re still going to miss some vital information. Having random ‘Fire’, ‘Water’ and ‘Earth’ events pop up, makes you want to know why and it’s disheartening to hear that ‘you simply don’t know’. Also, on the lower tiers, the fights are repetitive. The variation in encounters is simply lacking. Especially during the whole ‘solve the puzzle’ part it was quite frankly boring me to face the same creatures over and over again. Where there’s maybe too much diversity in the paths, there’s too little in encounters in certain tiers.

Finally, as a player, I was confused as to understanding the mercenaries. While I now understand it was a last ditch effort to stop the jailbreak, it just didn’t have that same sense of ‘this is the final combat!’. It ended a bit abruptly. I can understand this to be different for the high tiers, but for 1-2 or 3-4 it’s just another combat that doesn’t really stand out. It didn’t feel like a logical end for the special in terms of combat prowess. It felt like just a filler.

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As a GM, I’m honestly quite annoyed. While I appreciate diversity and options, it’s really frustrating to know that you’ll be preparing some paths that the table will not visit. Now if it’s just a few encounters, that’s fine, but we’re speaking of 23 fights and 21 different maps. That’s just a lot of maps to draw or buy, and monsters to prepare. It’s just too much honestly.

But wait, that’s not all! You also have a lot of interconnected mechanics that further increase the amount of preparation that has to be done. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great way to create a feeling of ‘what we do has an impact on every table’, but I’m not convinced this is the best way. Having a single event influence places in three different ways, makes sense. But having three of such events just makes it overly complicated for a GM. It’s doable, but it’s not exactly GM-friendly.

Finally, as a GM, I have to comment on the puzzle/jail situation. The idea behind it is certainly cool, as is the shielding. But having 4 different shields which all influence either the shields or how the puzzled is solved, in combination with the various ways a puzzle can be solved (which can change in difficulty), is just a pain to keep track of. I don’t even want to read that sentence again as it’s confusing, yet true. And then there’s the fights between the rounds of puzzle solving. They’re just repetitive and no fun. It’s the same fight over and over again. I wish there was more diversity. In hindsight I should have considered using creatures found on the paths the players hadn’t visited.

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All-in-all it’s a great story, but it doesn’t transfer well to the player. As a special, it struggles with diversity. The paths were a great idea, but the mechanics are too complex while the encounters in the lower term are just plain repetitive. The Special certainly tries, but ultimately comes short of being a great experience for players and GM’s a like. It has issues and while I can understand the direction Paizo took with this – especially with the interconnecting mechanics - I think that the easier format of Legacy of the Stonelords is better.


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A TPK waiting to happen

2/5

I played this scenario at the high tier. At first I was happy that my character was able to revisit Azlanti Ridge, a location (and scenario) I as a player have fond memories of. It’s nice to see how a location develops and continues to struggle. The story, in other words, continued and I loved that.

The first couple of fights are best described as ‘tough, but fair’. The creatures packed quite a punch and were certainly scary and challenging, but doable. They fit the region and are unique, for as far as I know. I enjoyed it a lot. Combined with an interesting ‘mystery’ portion, the stage is set for something grand.

And grand the conclusion and final fight of the scenario is. It’s a scene fitting for a Hollywood blockbuster. Thematically, it’s amazing. Mechanically, however, it’s a complete disaster. Extremely brutal is an understatement. I’m just going to spoil it a bit, but having to deal with a CR15 creature is silly. It will cause casualties, probably even if the GM only rolls 1’s. I don’t mind a challenge, but this is just over the top. And here’s the kicker: it’s also a CR15 for a low tier party. I trust I don't have to explain why that's an issue.

While my party survived, it’s more that the GM was merciful and didn’t go for the most painful tactics. Even then, it nearly made most of us die. In my opinion this scenario needs to be tuned down. The scenario (except for the end) is fun. However as it stands I have to rate it lower and I can only recommend playing this in high tier and with a GM who you trust to not absolute butcher you.


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A hidden gem featuring fantasy and technology

5/5

Before I played this scenario, I was worried that the combination of Pathfinder Society’s fantasy setting wouldn’t mash well with technology. I imagined there’d be a great disparity between the two in the scenario. However Fires of Karamoss manages to skilfully balance the two and combine both the fantasy and the sci-fi elements with a compelling story.

I played the scenario with Damanta, see the review below, and I think that I was the techcrazed alchemist he was referring to. Then again, what else did you expect from a gnome? To make matters worse, a gnome that is a true follower of Brigh. Suffice to say, she saw technology, looked at the party with puppy-eyes and said ‘can I?’, only to dive straight into the pile of metal without waiting for an answer.

But back to the scenario. As I said it manages to balance fantasy with sci-fi in a great way. While you are aware that this isn’t your typical dungeonlocation, you do not encounter too much technology. Of course the dungeon itself has aspects that might make you think of Star Trek or Star Wars, but you will also encounter friends or foes that you could easily stumble upon in a more traditional scenario. There’s a nice blend of things, but it makes sense and doesn’t feel out of place.

The encounters themselves are great. Every single named NPC is amazing and feels unique even compared to those in other scenarios. You will likely not meet anything similar any time soon. They really are memorable in a good way. As for the fights, I think that ‘expect the unexpected’ is a great way to describe them. I won’t go into details, but you’ll be surprised at least once.

The storyline itself is pretty straightforward and the dungeon itself is pretty linear, but it feels right. I didn’t feel forced to go into a certain direction and the party had enough freedom to make their own choices when it came to certain situations. The events in the final room - I wont spoil them - are not only action-packed, but also speak to one’s imagination in a grand way. More so than any other scenario I’ve played thus far, it sets a scene that evokes an imminent sense of danger. To say it’s cinematic, would be an understatement.

As you can guess by this lengthy review, I had a lot of fun playing this one and I certainly recommend it to others. Do not be afraid of the technology label. It’s nicely balanced and, above anything else, a pleasure to play.


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Do not shop until you drop

4/5

The premise of The Green Market is simple. You're basically tasked to go to a certain market and help a friend of the Society. Of course nothing is ever that easy, which is good otherwise this hobby wouldn't be any fun, now would it? The story as it perfectly clear by now takes an unexpected turn, which my funeral priest of Pharasma really enjoyed. It was as if the scenario was made for her.

The encounters will surprise you. The first one is obvious, but the ones after that are not only divers but also fun and interesting. Each has its own challenges and they can all be rather nasty. Especially the one near the end will give you a run for your money. My party was lucky that we only suffered two casualties: an animal companion and a brawler. Trust me when I say it could have easily been a total massacre.

So let this be a warning. Do not underestimate this scenario, but also do not shy away from it. I personally really enjoyed it. The idea of running around a market, dealing with unforeseen problems and multiple twists storywise made it a great way to spend time with friends. As such, I would recommend The Green Market to others.


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A strategic dungeoncrawl

3/5

I played this scenario a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still figuring out what to think of the scenario. Let me start by saying that by no means this is a bad scenario. Above anything else this scenario requires players to think strategically. You can not simply walk in and fight every single time as it can easily backfire and cause fatalities.

As a result, the fights are challenging at times. The keywords here being 'at times'. Some are just walks in the park, others are potentially deadly. And I have to admit, that the 'BBEG' is fairly easy compared to the rest. The scenario as result ends on a bit of an anticlimactic note, which is a bit of a shame.

My main issue with the scenario is that the plot just feels lacking. The overarching idea is good, but the encounters just feels out of place at times. The players receive little to no reason as to why some of the opponents are there. They simply are there, and that's it. I personally need to have some sort of link between the storyline and the encounter, and it just isn't there this scenario and that makes it a little bit frustrating.

The scenario is a good dungeoncrawler, but lacks a little in the storyline department. In the end it's not enough to make me want to discourage people from playing this scenario, but I also feel like there are other scenarios where the link between encounters and story is simply better. The Infernal Vault remains enjoyable, but it feels a little unfinished.


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An utter joy to play

5/5

I had the fortune of playing this scenario last week and I can say I’m rather surprised by the reviews and ratings thus far. I know everyone has his or her own opinion, but I personally think 3 stars does not do this scenario justice.

This scenario can roughly be cut in three segments. The first segment is having a finite number of days to investigate two areas, but with a sidenote that every day is different. This does indeed, like others have mentioned, mean that if a party wants to get all the information, they will have to split the party and deal with 6 different encounters.

Now, that sounds like a lot, but it is not that bad. You’re basically given a situation and asked how your character would act in that situation. It gives you as a player a chance to showcase your character’s unique aspects. Things like having put points in obscure professions can actually help you out, and that alone makes this a fun scenario for me. It’s a really fun approach to gathering information and investigating certain areas for clues. It’s pretty well done, especially since there can be mishaps and escalations.

The second portion of the scenario is the heist itself, which is influenced by how well you did as a party during the first segment. Again you’re more or less given a situation and some advise, but the way you want to execute the heist is entirely up to you. Once more you’re given a lot of room to come up with creative solutions and I’m sure that every heist will be different. After all, you’re only limited by your imagination (and a specific amount of gold).

Lastly, the third segment. I won’t spoil too much. I will say however that I agree with those before me when they say the class of the big bad evil person is a bit awkward. That’s not to say I don’t like it, but it’s a rare sight. Still, it works and is a nice change of pace. The tactics for that fight are quite simple, yet effective. It really forces players to make a split-second decision and it will have consequences.

In the end I can only say that this scenario far surpassed my expectations. The combats are nice, but I particularly fancy the sandbox elements. The heist was a nice touch and the investigation portion is outstanding. Every day and area is different, forcing you to come up with new solutions every day. The only downside to that is that a party of 6 will require a significantly longer time investigating than a party of four as every member has to explain and motivate their actions.

Finally, I would have to explicitly mention that this scenario requires a lot of attention and preparation from a GM. That’s not just because it’s a sandbox at times, but also because there are a lot of different scenarios to keep track off and hints to be distributed. Even the final boss is a relatively rare sight, meaning you might have to learn a class just for this scenario. In the end it’s more than worth it. A GM who prepares well and who can do a good job improvising will love this scenario, as will his/her players.


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Excellent on all fronts

5/5

I wasn't sure what to expect from this scenario. In hindsight I have to say that it far surpassed any expectations I had. There were numerous memorable NPCs. Some are more detailed than others, but they make for great role-play potential.

The encounters too were simply good and well-written. This scenario does a great job showing that straightforward maps can still provide a nice challenge. The tactics and, at times, environmental effects go a great way at making things memorable. Unlike some of the more recent season 6 and 7 scenarios, they are not complicated and simply work extremely well.

Combine the above with a good storyline, and you got a scenario that is just a pleasure to play. As such I highly recommend it to everyone, except for murderhobo's. They wont do the love that has been put in the scenario justice.


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Flavorful, but with some minor issues

3/5

I GM'ed this scenario a few days ago, and I'm left with mixed feelings. The plot is nice, but starts abruptly and can force peaceful characters to strongly reconsider their faction choice. I also liked the whole research and ritual aspect. It added a lot of flavor and made sure that casters are going to have a fun time.

For the more fighting-oriented characters, this scenario is also nice and challenging. The encounters can be quite painful, if not outright scary, and even the occassional trap feels like a true hazard. It's a shame that the whole procedure of how the research takes place felt a bit 'and now I as a GM have to explain the mechanic of how this works to you'. It broke the immersion a bit.

I also struggled with the first encounter. Simply put, the first map is a bit too small. It makes sense, but I had half my party just wait outside, contemplating if they wanted to enter, even when a fight broke out. Combined with the squeezing, it more or less made it a fight that just dragged on for a bit, and while it could certainly be fun, had a feeling of 'can we just wrap this up already?' to it.

The flavor is present in this scenario and given the right circumstances I can easily see parties having fun with it. The first fight is set up to be fun, but due to squeezing and the limited room doesn't really live up to expectations. That said, the scenario picks up the pace with fights later on and can certainly provide a nice session for everyone involved.


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Scary and dangerous when played on tier 3-4

3/5

At long last I've finished this four-parter. It's been quite a journey and I have to say that the last two parts really make up for the bland start and boring second instalment. Compared to the previous parts, this scenario was pretty scary and lethal. But first I should mention that I was playing this on tier 3-4 and that, due to circumstances, we were being accompanied by a level 7 paladin pregen. Long story short, if it wasn't for that paladin, our party would have suffered several casualties.

I'm not joking. One of the encounters, the second to be precise, is absolutely scary to face. Not only does it have hardness, but it also packs a massive punch that will not only likely hit it's target twice a round, but also hits like a truck. It's a creature that in my honest opinion is a bit too much for this tier. Thankfully we had a beefy frontline and weathered the storm. It was challenging, certainly, and it honestly made the final fight seem like a joke. The setting was nice, but it felt way too easy compared to the other encounters this scenario. As a result it felt like an anticlimax, which as you can imagine, isn't the best way to end a multi-parter.

That said, storywise it is a nice conclusion. The locations were evocative and diverse. I'm still not entirely sold on small corridors for a fight, but this time it was in our advantage. It's a good scenario, yet fails to stand out as a must play. However if you've played the first part and feel slightly demoralized after part 2, I'd say it's worth continuing with The Devil We Know. It gets better, trust me.


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Very flavorful

4/5

I ran this scenario last night for a party of four and had a great time. The expectations I had of this scenario when I picked it, were easily met and satisfied. This scenario delivers on multiple fronts.

Initially I was drawn to the variety and uniqueness of the encounters. During the course of this adventure you're going to run into some foes that you likely have never faced before, at least not in a PFS setting. These foes stand out in a plethora of ways. Not only do they look the part, but they also have interesting abilities and tactics. They can (and likely will) give you run a for your money, so be sure to not underestimate them. They can pack quite a serious punch, both directly and indirectly.

Equally interesting was the setting of the scenario. Like others mentioned in the reviews below, this scenario does a great job at providing the players with a shady, black market. The descriptions of the scenery are concise yet adequate, but it's really the NPCs that create a tangible immersion. They really add a lot of flavor and make the place feel more alive and tangible. It makes the investigation portion of the scenario fun to role-play out.

In the end The Deepmarket Deception is fun and challenging scenario. It offers unique encounters in a very flavorful locale. I would definitely recommend this scenario to others and I'm already looking forward to running it again.


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A bit bland, but still a decent scenario

3/5

This scenario felt relatively painful for a 1-5 scenario compared to the latest seasons. It felt as if the opponents were able to put up more of a fight, though that could have also been some luck on the GM's side. The various statues were a nice and flavorful touch, as was the fact you had to lose a fight, but I do have to admit I missed some 'typical' Jalmeray flavor. As it stands now, I can't really say I was blown away by this adventure.

The story itself is pretty straight forward, but has some nice titbits. The way the language plays a vital point in this scenario, as well some of the other role-playing parts can really mess with a player's mind and a bunch of depth to the scenario. Even better was the fact that the BBEG does not necessarily has to be evil and can be dealt with through other means. It's not as black as white as other scenarios tend to be when it comes to that aspect, though the variety in encounters was a bit lacklustre to say the least.

All in all, I'd say it's a fun scenario and certainly not a bad one. It just lacks that extra bit of uniqueness to make it really stand out from the rest and to make it memorable.


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Much better than its prequels

4/5

After a disappointing part 2 I was worried about what the next part would bring. Thankfully this part easily outshines the previous installments of this series. Compared to the previous pieces, there actually is a good story, featuring some interesting NPCs. They're colorful and actually offer some nice role-play situations.

What also was a vast improvement, was that this scenario made great use of the surroundings throughtout the entire session. In fights they spiced things up, although the map with the final encounter was indeed pretty terrible for reasons mentioned below, and it also provided players with a nice puzzle. I consider said puzzle to be outstanding, but I'm biased due to my urban and regional planning background.

This part so far has been the best in this series and it was a much needed improvement given its prequel. I hope the final part will be similar in nature and quality.


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A great end to a great series

4/5

When I wrote the review for part 2, I expressed my hopes that the third part would be equally good. If so, this would be my favorite multi-part story arc. Now that I've played this final part, I can happily conclude that yes, it is the best three-parter Paizo has released to date.

Just like the first part, this part tries to get players to think outside the box and use all their talents in various ways. However this time it is more of a sandbox and I really like that kind of scenarios. You obviously receive some suggestions in the form of items the party gets at the start of the scenario, but ultimately it's up to you how you infiltrate, explore and, more importantly, escape. There are a plethora of options available and only your imagination can limit them, though as was the case for the second part, skill monkeys remain invaluable.

Following the prison portion, which is the majority of the scenario, there is a small chase scene and a (potential) fight. My party didn't struggle at all with the fight and I'd even go as far as saying it's too easy. It has flavor, but it just wasn't remotely challenging for us. The chase scene, well, that also wasn't particularly challenging since we had a lot of skills available to help us avoid capture. But what really made it stand out from similar scenes, was the fact that instead of getting successes so you could continue on to the next 'problem', you were now trying to delay your pursuers. It's a twist that at first felt a bit strange, but that worked out surprisingly well. It's something that's memorable and that hopefully will return in some shape or form in the future.

As I said, this part concludes my favorite three-parter to date, and I highly recommend the entire series to those who read this. On a personal note, I can't wait to run this for my friends as I'm sure they'll enjoy it just as much as I did.


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A forgettable sewer-crawl

2/5

The past month I've played part 1 and 2 of this four-parter, and all three parts of the new (read: season 7) trilogy. The differences couldn't be bigger.

I quite liked part 1 of The Devil We Know series, though it wasn't anything special. This part is not much better and I honestly think it's a little worse. It's just a sewer-crawl that simply does not stand out in any shape or form. There's no point during the scenario that stood out to me or that I will be able to remember it by. The combats too were far from challenging.

It's a shame though. The idea of an item creating mutated rats is solid and could have been a great way to create unique opponents, memorable area-effects and overall a fun experience. Instead you just get slightly tougher rats and that's it. It's just a missed opportunity and makes this scenario forgettable. I sincerely hope part 3 and 4 will be better than this part.


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A unique and lore-heavy exploration

4/5

This scenario is a worth sequel to part one. It combines a lot of lore with an exploration of some ruins. However, you do need a way to have access to several kinds of knowledge and other skills to fully understand the lore and what is going on. In other words, you do need a skill-monkey in order to get the most out of it. Luckily I was fortunate to bring that to my table, and other players could help out as well.

That's basically my only complaint about this scenario. Without that skill-set, a party might struggle to complete the mission and characters who can't contribute during the exploration phase, which is by far the biggest chunk of this scenario, will feel useless. It's wise to bring a character with at least one point in a Knowledge skill just so you don't feel left out.

I liked the role-play, battles and other scenes. The fights were interesting and challenging. In particular the one near the end of the exploration was highly amusing and a great opponent in terms of flavor and uniqueness. I can see how the final encounter could be problematic for some alignments, but like my GM rightfully said: 'being taken in for questioning is something you won't return from, even if your body stays intact'.

If the third part is equally good, this might be my favorite three-parter Paizo has released to date.


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Too ambitious, too much, but still fun.

3/5

A year was spend gathering Sky Key Components and now was the time to put them to good use. Like three others below (Quentin, Damanta and Ascalaphus) I got ready to give it my best during a 7-hour-timeslot. Originally I planned to play this with my alchemist, who gathered two or three pieces, but due to circumstances and opportunities I ended up using a specific boon to "Kobold or go home". Imagine my surprise as we got to free humans from the reptilian overlords in the first half of the special.

Now due to the whole Kobold situation, I wasn't even the only one at the table, the first part of the special was a blast. We were the true descendants of dragons and our unique alignment added a lot of flavor to the mix. It also allowed our party to pursue some more intimidating approaches at times, which actually worked in our favor. The two of us had an average intimidate of 28, while the rest of our tier 3-4 group had an average diplomacy of 30 with everyone assisting. We made a mess of things, but it worked and it was hilarious. I can't thank my GM enough for letting us be silly like that.

The second part was a bit different and more of a sandbox. It allows for creativity and is put well together. However, since it's a special, it's in my honest opinion a huge mistake. Specials are not known for being able to be creative as there are huge time-constraints. Even though we had a 7 hour slot, there was just not enough time. We like to actually talk to NPC's instead of rolling dice and moving on instantly.

The idea is nice, but the special suffers from the typical special flaws. It's too ambitious and tries to do too many things in too little time. I could tell by the amount of paperwork and time GMs needed to find the right page that is was even more complex on their side. I had the feeling that it simply too much for them to handle, even though they had prepared well. Mind you, they all still did a great job, but I could sense the frustration.

In the end the story was nice, but would have been better had it been two separate specials. The combats were a bit easy as well and not challenging. While that is a nice change of pace compared to some other specials, this was just underwhelming. The fact that every party-member could contribute with literally every skill is a major improvement though. Everyone was useful the entire time and I also applaud the fact that there were more solutions for certain problems. The fact that you don't necessarily have to fight in order to be successful is something I appreciate seeing in a special. If you were to combine this with certain mechanics of Legacy of the Stonelords and you have a recipe for a five-star special in the future. For now, this one only gets three.


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Good evergreen, okayish scenario

3/5

When I was preparing to run this scenario as a GM, I was pleasantly surprised. Unlike the previous evergreens, this one actually offers a different experience. A part of this is the whole 'three tasks, pick two' portion, but also because it's a sandbox. Every task, more so than in any other evergreen, can be done in a wide variety of ways. It will most likely offer a unique experience every time because of the choices players make.

For an evergreen this is very outstanding, but how does it translate to being a scenario someone might play only once? Well, the idea behind the scenario is simple. Three task, pick two and enjoy. It's nice and while I felt there was a storyline behind it all, I don't feel that it comes together very well for players. That said, the fact that you can do a lot of different things and still succeed is always a plus in my book.

As for the combats, particularly near the end, I couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed. Depending on the preparations by the players, it might even be anticlimactic, which makes it a weird ending for the scenario. For me, as a GM, it left a bit of a sour taste, a taste of disappointment. Luckily the players still had fun and that's all that matters. In the end, I'd say it's a good evergreen, but not a great scenario.


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